Labeling Techniques for Medications
- Ask your pharmacist to place a large print label on your prescription container. You can also request large print instructions.
- Use a weekly or daily pill organizer. These boxes, which are plastic with a section for every day of the week, are often useful. They come with large-print labels, but make sure that the print is a contrasting color—black print on a white label, for example. Pill boxes also come with tactile labels. Ask a friend, family member, or your home health aide to fill your pill box for you. There are also talking pill organizers available.
- Bottles can be labeled in braille or large print using Dymo or label-on tape. Also, the first letter of the medication name can be written in white glue or a 3-D pen (also known as a Hi-Mark Tactile Pen) on the lid. When dry, these raised markings can be read with the fingertips.
- Low vision devices, such as magnifiers are the most popular method for reading labels and pill boxes. Magnifying pill bottles fit all standard prescription vials.
- Use rubber bands to differentiate medications that are stored in separate containers.
- Use rubber bands to keep track of your daily dosage of a medication. For example, place rubber bands around the bottle or container equal to the number of dosages you take each day of that particular medication. Remove one band each time you take the medication. Replace the bands at the end of each day to begin the system again.
- If you have three different prescriptions in similarly sized bottles, you can mark the first with one rubber band, the second with two bands, and the third with three bands.
- Talking labels are an option. Using a VOXCOM, medication labels are recorded on a card and attached to the bottle. To identify the medication, simply slide the card through the VOXCOM and it reads the label aloud. The Talking RX Prescription recorder allows you or someone you trust to set it up. This bottle comes with a recording device to note the contents of the bottle; once recorded, push the button on the side to hear what’s in the bottle. Tel-Rx allows an individual to record up to 20 seconds of the information from a prescription label.
- Some systems require the pharmacist to set them up, such as Scriptalk, which has new patient software that lets the user get information via audible output, and in braille or large print formats. Participating pharmacies put a small RFID tag on a prescription container. This tag stores all the printed information from the pharmacy label. The patient is also given a free ScripTalk Station reading device. To listen to the label data, one simply puts the prescription container on top of the device and presses a button. All the label information is spoken clearly. If braille access is desired, the user can connect the Station to a computer and braille display. The computer accesses the information as an electronic file and sends the data to the braille display. This same application works for large print or screen magnification on the computer.
More Talking OptionsCheck out more talking options. Listen to the audio on many talking devices that are currently being offered.
- When attaching braille labels to medication bottles, be sure to place them on the side of the bottle that does not have the label so that someone else can still help by reading the print.
- Some prescription boxes come with an alarm system to remind the individual when to take the medication.
- Get help from Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind a comprehensive, home delivery pharmacy service specializing in the needs of people who are blind, DeafBlind and have low vision.